To avoid a rather long journey back to Tokyo, we had booked a flight to our next destination (Hanoi, Vietnam) from Osaka instead. Believing Osaka was just “another big city”, we decided to split our last day in Japan between Nara and Osaka.
The first one, Nara, used to be the capital of Japan prior to the Edo era. I believe 100% of our friends who have already come to Japan told us they visited it, so we did not want to miss it 🙂 We did enjoy our 2 hours tour in the middle of the “sacred deers” wandering everywhere in the park, but after 3 weeks of temples & crowds we did not find it that much impressive (except for the great buddha of Tōdai-ji).
After a short stop in a local izakaya (tavern serving traditional dishes), we reached Osaka 2 hours before nightfall, giving us just enough time to visit its famous castle. It offers a beautiful view over the Osaka skyline and also retraces the history of Japan conflicts during the Toyotomi and Tokugawa eras.
A nice surprise came on our way back to our hotel, after a short break at Luke’s Lobster (Elena’s wonderland :-P); we arrived on some electrical streets near the Dontonbori river, with big neon lights everywhere, reminding me of my first arrival in Times Square, 10 years ago!
We also came across a J-Pop show, which certainly qualifies as another Japan stereotype! 🙂